Deborah Randall, founder of the Venus Theatre Company in Laurel on Thursday, Feb. 9. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Deborah Randall, founder of the Venus Theatre Company in Laurel on Thursday, Feb. 9. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

By Dave Strum  

VENUS THEATRE STAYS ON EDGE WITH VISION

Playwrights from as far away as Australia and Greece submit plays to Laurel's Venus Theatre. Critics laud the theater's edgy and provocative vision. Audience members drive in from other states.

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by Deborah Randall

Fifty years ago I was born in Washington, DC. It's been incredible to grow up with the Smithsonian as a field trip destination during the end of bussing and amid great movements of social integration. Art was accessible and everywhere. No matter what was happening in the world I always had permission to play, and I just never stopped doing that. My company, Venus Theatre, now stands among the longest running women’s theatres in the world.


Deborah Randall, Founder of the Venus Theatre Play Shack in Laurel, Maryland. She keeps the outfit running on a tiny budget. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Deborah Randall, Founder of the Venus Theatre Play Shack in Laurel, Maryland. She keeps the outfit running on a tiny budget. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

By Nelson Pressley Theater Critic   

There’s no argument: Women are dramatically underrepresented on Washington’s stages. So sayeth the overwhelming majority of D.C. area troupes, which will coalesce en masse this fall as about 60 companies premiere works by female writers in the Women’s Voices Theater Festival.

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Deb Randall is the founder of Venus Theatre in Laurel. (Staff photo by Brian Krista, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Deb Randall is the founder of Venus Theatre in Laurel. (Staff photo by Brian Krista, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

By Gwendolyn Glenn, Laurel Leader

Four plays set to premiere at Venus Theatre each have elements of 'no strings attached'

Wild, dark and sad with moments of fun is how Venus Theatre founder Deb Randall describes the 2015 season for the C Street theatre. Four plays written by women will get their premieres in a season Randall has dubbed "Feral 15: Feminist Fables with No Strings Attached."

"I came up with that theme because each play deals with intense topics and they feel wild, like feral cats, who can be wild, playful and unapologetic," Randall said. 

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Bill Ryan/The Gazette Venus Theater founder Deborah Randall, on the stage in Laurel, where they are doing their 50th production. .

Bill Ryan/The Gazette

Venus Theater founder Deborah Randall, on the stage in Laurel, where they are doing their 50th production. .

Laurel theater stages 50th play

Resident uses venue to offer voice for female artists

By Alice Popovici, The Gazette, Staff Writer

Venus Theater founder Deborah Randall, on the stage in Laurel, where they are doing their 50th production. .

Laurel resident Deb Randall said she wanted to provide a forum for women’s voices and their stories in the theater while offering female playwrights and actors a space to refine their craft.

Now 50 plays later, 13 years of which have been at the Venus Theater in Laurel, Randall and Venus Theater were recognized by the City of Laurel with a proclamation declaring November 2014 “Venus Theater Appreciation Month.”

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